Press Release of 26 February 2014
Persistently High Wealth Inequality in Germany
According to current analyses based on the Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), the total net assets of German households in 2012 amounted to 6.3 trillion euros. Almost 28 percent of the adult population had no or even negative net worth. On average, individual net worth in 2012 totaled more than 83,000 euros; that is slightly more than ten years previously. The degree of wealth inequality remained virtually unchanged. With a Gini coefficient of 0.78, Germany has a high degree of wealth inequality compared to other countries and there is still a wide gap between western and eastern Germany, almost 25 years after unification. In 2012, the average net worth of eastern Germans was less than half that of western Germans.
German Institute for Economic Research
Founded in 1925, DIW Berlin (the German Institute for Economic Research) is one of the leading economic research institutes in Germany. The Institute analyzes the economic and social aspects of topical issues, formulating and disseminating policy advice based on its research findings. DIW Berlin is part of both the national and international scientific communities, provides research infrastructure to academics all over the world, and promotes the next generation of scientists. A member of the Leibniz Association, DIW Berlin is independent and primarily publicly funded.
The Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) study
The Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) study is the largest and longest-running multidisciplinary longitudinal study in Germany. The SOEP is located at DIW Berlin and funded by the federal and state governments as part of Germany's research infrastructure under the umbrella of the Leibniz Association (WGL). Since 1984, the survey institute Kantar Public (previously TNS Infratest) has surveyed several thousand individuals annually for SOEP. There are currently around 30,000 respondents in approximately 15,000 households. The SOEP data include information on income, employment, education, health, and life satisfaction. Since the same individuals are surveyed each year, not only is SOEP able to identify long-term social trends but it can also analyze in detail the group-specific development of individuals’ lives.
Press Office DIW Berlin
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Communications Management German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP)
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